When I searched “ripping hair out”, these two guys showed up. I like them so much they are featured here.
It is often quoted that it costs $250,000 to raise a child. That high number is meant to shock, to evoke outrage over the high cost of living in the United States. But how high is our cost of living really? This number is hard to track down given variables such as location, and it is true that the cost of living will vary depending on where you live. However, there are many examples from all over the country that show you can live easily, on $40,000 or less, given some flexibility.
I am pleased to announce that we finally have more invested in our 401k than we have equity in the house! Actually this happened a couple of months ago, but I just recently noticed.
As most of you have probably discerned, we are back from our trip to Disney World! We missed Hurricane Matthew by one day. Ironically, I had no idea there even was a hurricane, although I did notice it was a slight bit windier the day we left. I was completely oblivious because,
(1) I didn’t watch the news or weather the entire time we were gone.
(2) I didn’t check my phone for news or weather.
Our operating expenses went over-budget by $385 due to a trip to Costco and expenses related to acquiring an old car in need of some repairs.
We stock up on groceries and household goods (think, toilet paper and dog food) on a quarterly basis, so our budget goes up in this area every three months. We spent about $500 more than a regular month on these line items. We get great deals, especially on flour, dog food, and coffee. Additionally, we found that we can get heartworm medication for our dogs through the Costco pharmacy for about half the price than at the veterinarian’s office; about $32 for a six-months supply. On our next trip, I will have our vet call in a prescription so we can pick some up.
The Jolly Ledger Family is off to Disney World this week! Here was the general reaction when we broke the news to Little Miss TJL at her second (!) birthday party so far this year (what a con artist).
This is the reaction when the world is yours.
We have been super busy preparing for our upcoming trip, birthday parties, run-down cars and fitting school and work in there too! However, there were so many great posts this month, I figured we could take a few minutes to share the love.
Steve at Think Save Retire offered to spread the love by tweeting your favorite blog post . That’s what the Church of FI is all about an we took him up on his kind offer. He promptly tweeted our post Redefining a Middle Class Lifestyle on Sunday. That brought in a steady stream of new readers to The Jolly Ledger. Thanks Steve!
For the last couple of weeks, I have been reading David Bach’s Smart Women Finish Rich. He updated this version in 2002, but seeing how it is now 2016, it has parts that are outdated again. While I got a lot out of this book, I don’t agree with all of his financial advice like:
- Owning a house and paying it off early, or even the value of a 15-year mortgage
- Not utilizing credit card and their rewards (in fairness, the book might have been written pre-incentives)
- Buying Life insurance
- Needing a financial planner or money manager (although I do like his section on how to find a good one)
- Investing in high-fee funds
Despite this, the main tenet of taking control of your financial life remains a valuable topic. The beginning of the book emphasizes the importance of creating a values system and goals in order to focus your financial life. After all what will motivate you to save if you don’t know what you are saving for? I suspect a lot of people skip over this part and proclaim, “I want to be a millionaire and quit my job!”, but they haven’t really sat and pondered how money relates to their personal values.
Looks fun, right?
Little Miss TJL recently went to her best friend’s birthday party. It was just the two of them (along with parents and grandparents, of course); they went to an amusement park modeled after the North Pole . There’s the Candy Cane Coaster, Peppermint Slide and Santa’s Sleigh zip line. Even though she was visibly terrified, she put on a brave face and went on every single ride…and she loved it. Around our house lately, she has dubbed that day as the “best day of her life.” Wow, that’s gonna be hard to beat.
The Colorado Care Initiative or Amendment 69, which proposes a state-government run single payer health care is on the ballot in November. While employed, I am not concerned about my healthcare costs, as it is included as part of my benefit package, but I am concerned with the cost of healthcare during my FIRE years. Before, casting my vote, I decided to run a few scenarios on the cost of healthcare through Colorado Care.
So much reading, so little time.
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